Planning Corporate Conferences: Why Hiring an Agency Can Save Time and Money

At Anna Marie Events, we work with a lot of A-tier technology and enterprise-level clients who have talented administrative teams and event-planning capabilities. So, while you might assume that many of these companies might be reluctant to outsource their conference planning  requirements to a third party, we find that, in fact, quite often, the opposite is true.

Why is that?

We think this seemingly unexpected outcome results from a combination of factors that we call “the Anna Marie Event’s Advantage”.

  • A comprehensive solution: start to finish
  • Complete transparency in costs
  • An agile approach
  • 100% reliable and accountable
  • Collaborative and collegial teamwork

A Complete Package: Concept  to Clean Up

Any experienced conference project manager knows that the event starts well before the conference itself. Many activities from design development to scheduling to hiring proceed the event logistics. And we know that this pre-conference decision making period is the most important in terms of maximizing resource investment and minimizing wasteful spending of both time and money. By clarifying the full scope of the event requirements up front and addressing any areas that might need contingency planning (more attendees, weather, new sponsors, changes in program etc.), we can reduce inefficiencies in the planning process and maximize leverage in vendor negotiations upfront. This saves our clients thousands of dollars every time they execute an event. And the beauty of working from concept to cleanup is that there is one fully-accountable agency working on your behalf. Fully responsible. Fully accountable.

Full Financial Transparency: Where the Dollars Go

At Anna Marie Events, we use our own proprietary financial tracking model to bird-dog every dollar spent on our events. From design concepting to materials costs to production fees to on site installation on the “day of”, we know where all of the dollars go and have created benchmarks for key areas of spending so we know we are getting the most bang for our client’s buck. This detailed tracking of project costs has allowed us to build a database from past event actuals that helps our team improve our process and expand our value to our in-house corporate administrative partners. OK, it’s not a SaaS solution (yet), but it might as well be since we update this real-time financial tracking model often several times a day when we are deep in the throes of event planning. Some might consider us a bit too detailed in our approach, but we find that most of our clients actually are relieved that we take event planning so seriously. We know corporate conferences are an investment in a company’s users, customers, industry partners and employees, so, actually, we take that VERY seriously.

Flexibility, Resourcefulness, Resiliency: Staying Agile

Another area that we believe is part of the “AME Advantage” is our incredible flexibility. We pride ourselves in managing through the many last-minute hiccups that plague any company conference. Maybe you planned for 2,000 attendees but you have 2,500 once online registrations and “day-of” roll in the door. Maybe your caterer’s food-and-beverage manager came down with the flu. Maybe that shipment of promotional items for the gift bag never made it to your marketing department. Whatever the last-minute problem, we have been there, handled that. We take pride in being low-stress partners, because we know that is the last thing you need, more stress when it comes to planning and executing your annual conference. You’re all about meeting your business objectives, we’re all about making sure your conference is built to deliver those.

Reliability and Accountability

Another issue we see clients experiencing when they outsource selective elements of their conferences is lack of communication, follow-through and/or accountability. When you have some events elements covered in-house and some outsourced, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but it can be, especially if you aren’t using a common project management solution that can be viewed across your internal and external teams. This tag team approach can also lower overall operational efficiency, as more time is required to communicate changes back and forth and reforecast total conference cost to ensure the overall event is still on budget. If a ball gets dropped, it is sometimes difficult to identify where and how that happened, critical information so that it doesn’t happen the next time. We’ve developed methods for tracking and managing communication to be seamless and integrated. Most important, we believe in total accountability.

Collaboration and Collegiality

The final factor of our Anna Marie Events Advantage is who we have on our team. We hire very, very carefully at all levels and being a tight-knit agency team, we know that how we treat people, internally and externally, is one of the keys to our success. We are known throughout the conference and meeting planner industry as highly collaborative and congenial to work with. This is partly who we are as people but also is integral to our overall company culture at Anna Marie Events. 

If you are considering outsourcing some of the elements of your next conference, we welcome you to call us for a consultation. We can help you review your needs and determine if this is the best solution for you, net-net. We find that passion, great hospitality and experience makes all the difference when it comes to planning exceptional corporate conferences.

If you are considering outsourcing some of the elements of your next conference, call us for a consultation. We can help you review your needs and determine if this is the best solution for you, net-net. We find that experience makes all the difference when it comes to planning corporate conferences. Leverage ours.